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Catholic Health is “all in”

Vanessa Gonzalez

Vanessa Gonzalez, RN, is a seasoned veteran in Catholic Health’s St. Joseph Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED). She started there years before becoming a registered nurse, beginning her career in health care as a clerk manning the registration desk in 2009.

“My job was to ask all the right questions to admit a patient to our ED,” said Gonzalez. “It was a great position to be in at a young age, because it gave me a front row seat in emergency medicine and operations. That experience inspired me to go to nursing school and become a hands-on part of care and the healing process.”

Gonzalez earned her nursing degree and started the nursing phase of her career in St. Joseph’s telemetry unit, where cardiac patients are monitored. Early on she was tasked with producing a report that measured the team’s effectiveness in assisting patient and their families through the ED process. “We used Six Sigma tools and principles to sharpen our operation, and the improvement has remained a core part of how we work,” said Gonzalez.

Delivering care at the highest level is a never-ending commitment. “We give our all, not just for our patients but also for their families,” said Gonzalez. “Patient safety is a priority, always, as is overall the overall experience—that means how we engage, how we communicate, and how we demonstrate that we’re here to give 100%.”

Asked how she measures excellence on a personal level, Gonzalez shared, “When I finish my day and am driving home, I think of the people I helped—the patients, their families, the doctors treating them—and I feel good knowing I made a positive difference.”

Teamwork is a big part of Catholic Health’s culture. “Our team is all in. The other day we had a patient come in with a dangerously fast heart rate. My team instantly got the support of two other nearby teams. The attitude here is always How can I help.” Happily, the cardiac patient was stabilized and transferred to St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center®.

From time to time, nursing students visit St. Joseph Hospital’s ED to get a firsthand look at health care in action. Gonzalez likes to tell them about the Catholic Health model, “We work as a team, and we back each other up. It’s a place where you can ask questions to learn or just clarify for the benefit of the patient. Here you can learn without criticism. That’s pretty special.”

Want to join the team? Apply at jobs.chsli.org

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